Biodiversity Quality Calculator

The biodiversity quality calculator (BQC) was created by Dr Alan Feest and comprises a set of biodiversity quality indices for professional ecologists and scientific researchers from a single sampling dataset. The BQC programme has the facility to express biodiversity as numerical indices, allowing statistical tests for differences to be used to show significant change in populations and between groups.

The tool can be used to value a wide variety of biodiversity receptors, identify linkages between receptors and related externalities. Examples of the use of this programme include: 

  • Assessing 'no net loss' of bird populations at Cardiff Bay Barrage
  • Valuing the biological asset value of a water company's land holdings and forecasting changes 
  • Determining linkages between butterfly populations and the effects of nitrogen deposition
  • Ranking the value of protected habitats throughout the UK with particular focus on invertebrates, bryophytes and lichens


The programme allows species lists (such as those used in previous biodiversity assessments) to be compiled in the normal way. However, it can also manage more complex datasets, extracting the value (positive or negative) of individual or groups of indices for predicting the presence or the absence of certain characteristics (such as habitat health and vitality, or the impacts of climate change or pollution).

By analysing trends in the survey data it is possible to predict future impacts and to provide guidance in relation to management practices required to maintain favourable conservation status of habitats and ecosystems. The use of numerical indices allows the statistical testing of data for inferring the significance of difference or not.

BQC presents the sample data in the form of a species accumulation chart, plus the following biodiversity quality indices:

Species Richness
Shannon Wiener Biodiversity Index (for population numbers and relative biomass)
Simpson’s Biodiversity Index (for population numbers and relative biomass)
Berger-Parker Biodiversity Index (for population numbers and relative biomass)
Population Density
Species Conservation Value Index (mean value and standard deviation)
Biomass Index
Modelled Species Richness (Chao 1 and 2) (estimated value plus standard deviation).

The data provided by this programme will be concordant with that needed by the international biodiversity recording programmes. The information is necessary for understanding the progression towards the 2020 biodiversity target, LTER, GBIF, ALTER and EUMON. It enables consistency of data collection and therefore transboundary comparisons of the potential impacts of policy decisions with respect to biodiversity. There is the facility in the programme to create other indices, such as a nitrogen sensitivity index, if required.

For further information please contact us via the quick request form on the left:

pdf Establishing Baseline Indices for the Quality of the Biodiversity of Restored Habitats Using a Standardized Sampling Process Restoration Ecology Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 112–122 MARCH 2006